Nick Bjugstad: A Future Star


Nick Bjugstad is a 23-year-old centre from Minnesota, playing for the Florida Panthers. At 6’6, 218 pounds, Bjugstad is one of the bigger players in the league. Since being drafted 19th overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Bjugstad has impressed many around the league with his size, shot, skill and vision.

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The Numbers:

It didn’t take long for Nick Bjugstad to make an impact for the Panthers, as in his rookie season, he tallied 38 points in 76 games. Last season was Bjugstad’s breakout year, he scored 24 goals and 43 points through 72 games. His numbers have been good so far, and this article will further discuss why Nick Bjugstad will be considered an NHL All-Star very soon.

The Frame:

When he was drafted in 2010, Bjugstad was 6’5, 197 pounds. Since then, he has grown about one inch, and he has put on over 20 pounds. With his size, it’s no secret that Nick Bjugstad has the ability to do damage around the league. However, Bjugstad will look to add even more muscle mass in the next few years, in order to solidify himself as one of the biggest, most powerful scorers around the league. Bjugstad uses his size to his advantage, as he scores many of his goals from around the net. He has a knack for knowing where to be on the ice, and he is hard to move once he gets into scoring areas. As Bjugstad grows, matures and gets older and wiser, he will be an extremely big threat in the offensive zone. Bjugstad draws comparisons to power forwards Joe Thornton, and David Backes. These names leave big shoes for the young forward to fill, and so far, he is doing them justice.

The 2015-16 Projections:

Nick Bjugstad has 11 points through 18 games thus far this season. He is currently on pace for 27 goals and 22 assists, a total of 49 points. However, an area of concern for Bjugstad is that he has missed some games through his first two seasons. Through his first two years in the league, Bjugstad has missed a total of 16 games. Assuming Bjugstad stays healthy, he could very well approach the 30 goal mark. If he is healthy through 82, expect Nick Bjugstad to attain or top 50 points this season. Bjugstad plays on the first Power Play unit with the legendary Jaromir Jagr and Jonathan Huberdeau. He is sure to rack up some points while playing with these two-line mates. He has the necessary size to dominate, and he seems to know how to use it. At 23, Bjugstad won’t enter his prime for another two to three years, but when he does, he will be an x-factor for the Florida Panthers.

November 4, 2015; Anaheim, CA, USA; Florida Panthers center Nick Bjugstad (27) breaks his stick on a shot attempt against Anaheim Ducks during the third period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Future Potential:

The thing with a player like Nick Bjugstad, is that the sky is the limit. He surely hasn’t reached his ceiling just yet, and as he matures and learns more about hockey at the NHL level, he will develop in to a top threat around the league. Big forwards tend to peak in their mid to late twenties, and at 22, Bjugstad scored 24 goals. Now at 23, he is on pace for 27. If he continues at this pace, Nick Bjugstad will become a well-known name around the NHL, and fast. Bjugstad is destined to be a number one centre, though he is currently playing for a very young and very talented Florida Panthers team who are deep at the centre position. Bjugstad is 6’6, and will be able to use that to his advantage throughout his career. One thing that is certain, is that Nick Bjugstad will be a force around the league in the near future.

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There is little doubt that Nick Bjugstad’s future in the NHL is bright, but we can only wait and see where this young star peaks. Nick Bjugstad has all of the necessary tools to be a consistent offensive threat and a consistent 30 goal-scorer. At 23, Bjugstad has time to solidify himself as a star around the league, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he did just that in the very near future.